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Med J Aust. 1991 Jul 15;155(2):122-3.

Beneficial effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in Nocardia brasiliensis soft-tissue infection.

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Townsville General Hospital, Townsville, QLD.



To report the success of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of Nocardia brasiliensis mycetoma. We believe this to be only the second report in the medical literature of hyperbaric oxygen therapy used in the therapy of nocardial disease.


A 78-year-old man presented to a general hospital outpatient clinic after eight months with a painless swollen left foot. There was no significant medical history, no trauma had occurred, and no foreign body had been detected. The dorsum of the foot had a discharging sinus, from which N. brasiliensis was isolated.


After unsuccessful treatment with surgical debridement and high-dose antibiotic therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy was administered in a multiplace recompression chamber (one hour of treatment at 1.8 atmospheres absolute followed by a 30 minute "ascent" to surface pressure). A total of 19 treatments were administered.


Successful healing of an N. brasiliensis mycetoma of the left foot.


In this case of N. brasiliensis mycetoma involving the lower extremity, the conventional management of surgery and antibiotic therapy was unsuccessful, and only with the addition of hyperbaric oxygen therapy did clinical recovery occur.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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